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Posted 2009-03-28 20:09:51  
EASTERN ANTHEM CAPTURES SHEEMA CLASSIC CROWN

The most competitive race finish of the Dubai World Cup night was won by a local rider and trainer combination. Trainer Mohammed bin Shafya and  Jockey Ahmed Ajtebi sealed their second Dubai World Cup night win with Eastern Anthem on a night that they will not forget.

 The duo sealed the Dubai Sheema Classic crown run on the turf at Nad Al Sheba. Won last year by the super mare Sun Classique, this years renewal belonged to the rookie Emirati team.

Eastern Anthem (image: DRC/Watkins) came from last in the field of 15 over the 2400 metres course with Atjebi timing his run to perfection after displaying his ability to rate a horse when he led throughout on Gladiatorus in the earlier feature.
 
"I had to get him switched off at the back and when I pulled him out, he really went for me,” said Ajtebi who screamed with delight as he rushed from the weigh-in to weigh out for the Dubai World Cup.

 “At the 200m pole, I thought we had it but with Jamie Spencer and Ryan Moore upsides with me we had to fight right to the finish.
"This is just fantastic. I can't believe it,' he said after the judge signalled his victory by the barest margin - a nose.
 
While many of the beaten jockeys complained of a lack of pace, such laments seem tenuous given that the winner came from so far back. The overall time was a slow 2:31.8 - more than four seconds outside the course record mark.
 
Spanish Moon, for Sir Michael Stoute, and Luca Cumani's Purple Moon filled the placings (in that order) after stalking the leader Front House from the outset.
 
Spanish Moon ran bravely at his first appearance since November while Purple Moon was condemned to yet another placing in a major race - following his Melbourne Cup and Hong Kong International Vase seconds in the past two years.
 
Purple Moon's placing followed stablemate Presvis running a gallant second in the Dubai Duty Free. The two Cumani horses earned $1.5 million in prizemoney tonight so the extended Dubai campaign could hardly be deemed unsuccessful.
 
The dual Arc runner-up Youmzain was a solid finishing fourth after striking trouble in the run.
"The pace was too slow. I went for a run in the straight and got stopped,' said Youmzain's jockey Richard Hills. The stallion has run second, fifth and now fourth in his three Sheema Classic appearances. 

DUBAI SHEEMA CLASSIC SPONSORED BY NAKHEEL

1 Eastern Anthem (IRE) - Slowly away, settled rear, ran on well final 500m, led last stride
2 Spanish Moon (USA) - Tracked leaders, ridden to lead 400m out, ran on well, headed close home
3 Purple Moon (IRE) - Tracked leader, every chance final 300m, just failed
4 Youmzain (IRE) - Rear of mid-division, not much room 500m out or 300m out, ran on
5 Marsh Side (USA) - Never better than mid-division
6 Quijano (GER) - Mid-division, ran on well final 500m, never dangerous
7 Deem (IRE) - Settled rear, ridden 600m out, never able to challenge
8 Doctor Dino (FR) - Mid-division, chased leaders 500m out, not quicken final 300m
9 Front House (IRE) - Soon led, headed 400m out, weakened final 200m
10 Kirklees (IRE) - Mid-division, never able to challenge
11 Russian Sage (SAF) - Mid-division on rail, every chance behind leaders 400m out, weakened final 200m
12 Red Rocks (IRE) - Mid-division, wide, keen, never dangerous
13 King Of Rome (IRE) - Mid-division, ridden 500m out, not much room 400m out, soon beaten
14 Macarthur (GB) - Settled rear, never near to challenge
15 Kings Gambit (SAF) - Never better than mid-division

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